Over the next few weeks Jobs’s behavior fluctuated wildly. At one moment he would be talking
about going off to run AppleLabs, but in the next moment he would be enlisting support to have
Sculley ousted. He would reach out to Sculley, then lash out at him behind his back, sometimes
on the same night. One night at 9 he called Apple’s general counsel Al Eisenstat to say he was
losing confidence in Sculley and needed his help convincing the board to fire him; at 11
the same night, he phoned Sculley to say, “You’re terrific, and I just want you to know I love working with you.”
public humiliation in a way that in most cases proved to be pretty effective,” Tribble
recalled. But sometimes it wasn’t. One engineer, David Paulsen, put in ninety-hour
weeks for the first ten months at NeXT. He quit when “Steve walked in one Friday
afternoon and told us how unimpressed he was with what we were doing.” When Business
Week asked him why he treated employees so harshly, Jobs said it made the company better.
“Part of my responsibility is to be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an
environment where excellence is expected.” But he still had his spirit and charisma. There were
plenty of field trips, visits by akido masters, and off-site retreats. And he still exuded the pirate
flag spunkiness. When Apple fired Chiat/Day, the ad firm that had done the “1984” ad and taken
out the newspaper ad saying “Welcome IBM—seriously,” Jobs took out a full-page ad in the
Wall Street Journal proclaiming, “Congratulations Chiat/Day—Seriously . . .
Because I can guarantee you: there is life after Apple.”
Perhaps the greatest similarity to his days at Apple was that Jobs brought with him his reality
distortion field. It was on display at the company’s first retreat at Pebble Beach in late 1985.
There Jobs pronounced that the first NeXT computer would be shipped in just eighteen months.
It was already clear that this date was impossible, but he blew off a suggestion from one engineer
that they be realistic and plan on shipping in 1988. “If we do that, the world isn’t standing still,
the technology window
passes us by, and all the
work we’ve done we
have to throw down
the toilet,” he argued.
When Yü-ts’un heard these remarks, he at length credited what had been told him by Tzu-hsing the day before, and he lost no time in again expressing his sense of gratitude to Lin Ju-hai.
Ju-hai resumed the conversation.
“I have fixed,” (he explained,) “upon the second of next month, for my young daughter’s departure for the capital, and, if you, brother mine, were to travel along with her, would it not be an advantage to herself, as well as to yourself?”
Yü-ts’un signified his acquiescence as he listened to his proposal; feeling in his inner self extremely elated.
Ju-hai availed himself of the earliest opportunity to get ready the presents (for the capital) and all the requirements for the journey, which (when completed,) Yü-ts’un took over one by one. His
pupil could not, at first, brook the idea, of a separation from her father, but the pressing wishes of her grandmother left her no course (but to comply).
“Your father,” Ju-hai furthermore argued with her, “is already fifty; and I entertain no wish to marry again; and then you are always
ailing; besides, with your extreme youth, you have, above, no mother of your own to take care of you, and below, no sisters to
attend to you. If you now go and have your maternal grandmother, as well as your mother’s brothers and your cousins to depend upon, you will be doing the best thing to reduce the
anxiety which I feel in my heart on your behalf. Why then should you not go?”
Tai-yü, after listening to what her father had to say, parted from him in a flood of tears and followed her nurse and several old matrons from the Jung mansion on board her boat,
and set out on her journey.
Yü-ts’un had a boat to himself,
and with two youths to wait on him,
he prosecuted his voyage in the wake of Tai-yü.
“There’s nothing new whatever,” answered Tzu-hsing. “There is one thing however: in the family of one of your worthy kinsmen, of the same name as yourself, a trifling, but yet remarkable, occurrence has taken place.”
“None of my kindred reside in the capital,” rejoined Yü-ts’un with a smile. “To what can you be alluding?”
“How can it be that you people who have the same surname do not belong to one clan?” remarked Tzu-hsing, sarcastically.
“In whose family?” inquired Yü-ts’un.
“The Chia family,” replied Tzu-hsing smiling, “whose quarters are in the Jung Kuo Mansion, does not after all reflect discredit upon the lintel of your door, my venerable friend.”
“What!” exclaimed Yü-ts’un, “did this affair take place in that family? Were we to begin reckoning, we would find the members of my clan to be anything but limited in number. Since the time of our ancestor Chia Fu, who lived while the Eastern Han dynasty occupied the Throne, the branches of our family have been numerous and flourishing; they are now to be found in every single province, and who could, with any accuracy, ascertain their whereabouts? As regards the Jung-kuo branch in particular, their names are in fact inscribed on the same register as our own, but rich and exalted as they are, we have never presumed to claim them as our relatives, so that we have become more and more estranged.”
“Don’t make any such assertions,”
Tzu-hsing remarked with a sigh, “the present two mansions of Jung and
Ning have both alike also suffered reverses,
and they cannot come up to their state of days of yore.”
“Up to this day, these two households of Ning and of Jung,” Yü-ts’un suggested, “still maintain a very large retinue of people, and how can it be that they have met with reverses?”
“To explain this would be indeed a long story,” said Leng Tzu-hsing. “Last year,” continued Yü-ts’un, “I arrived at Chin Ling, as I entertained a wish to visit the
remains of interest of the six dynasties, and as I on that day entered the walled town of Shih T’ou, I passed by the entrance of that old residence. On the east
side of the street, stood the Ning Kuo mansion; on the west the Jung Kuo mansion; and these two, adjoining each other as they do, cover in fact well-nigh
half of the whole length of the street. Outside the front gate everything was, it is true, lonely and deserted; but at a glance into the interior over the enclosing wall, I
perceived that the halls, pavilions, two-storied structures and porches presented still a majestic and lofty appearance. Even the flower garden, which extends over
the whole area of the back grounds, with its trees and rockeries, also possessed to that day an air of luxuriance and freshness, which betrayed no signs of a ruined
or decrepid establishment.”